September round-up

I haven’t posted for a loooong while… partly because the summer was hot (or maybe I’m just a giant wuss) and I haven’t been out a lot… and partly because, as usual, I’m doing far too much.

Anyhow, here is a round-up of some photos I’ve taken over the last few weekends, just so folks know I’m still shooting! ;)

Nasketucket Bay State Reservation:

Painted ladiesPraying mantisGrass

Praying mantis

At work:

Praying mantis

AC Moore parking lot

Painted lady

Allen’s Pond Wildlife Sanctuary

MonarchMonarchsMonarchsMonarchMonarchMonarchsMonarch

Painted lady caterpillarBlack saddlebags dragonflyKingfisher

Asters

Scusset Beach

SanderlingsSanderlings

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Butterflies are free

It’s been a while since I posted anything new here – I’ve been working my tail off on my new Etsy shop, http://www.etsy.com/shop/SpringAzurePhotos – but I just had to post some of the butterflies I spotted today at Nasketucket Bay State Reservation.

I hadn’t even gotten out of the car when Ulysse spotted a Red-spotted Purple in the parking lot. I’ve only ever seen them in Dartmouth; I’m hoping they get a foothold at Nasketucket.

Red-spotted Purple ButterflyRed-spotted Purple Butterfly

Viceroys are becoming a common sight at Nasketucket, which must mean they’re getting to be well-established there. There is a lot of birch for them to feed on.

ViceroyViceroy

This is the best picture I’ve gotten to date of a Viceroy. I think they must have all just hatched; their colors were beautiful.
Viceroy

And then there were these guys. I looked them up and believe they are Mourning Cloak butterfly caterpillars.

Mourning Cloak caterpillars

I took one home to raise and see what it becomes. I had to go fetch him some willow leaves at the park, and then set him up in a tank with them. I managed to drop him in the tank, where he just lay in a puddle, and I thought he was a-gonner, but then I managed to get him onto a spoon and really look at him, I realized the poor guy was just trying to molt his skin when I half-drowned him. He seems much better now.

After all that walking, I had to go to A.C. Moore, and damned if I didn’t spot a black swallowtail feeding on some clover right next to the parking lot! By then my feet were killing me, but I had to at least try to get a few shots of him since he was right there. (A strong breeze did not help matters.)

Black swallowtail

Plate photos and stock images

About a hundred years ago, iStock accepted me as a contributor, which was a huge honor because iStock is the BEST. (I know, because I am a graphic artist and often go to their site for images.) But the letdown was, they accepted very, very few of my images.

Today I thought I’d give it another shot, and set out to photograph some of my jewelry-making stuff to submit to them. That went OK, but… I soon got distracted with photographing the plates I’d set my jewelry on.

Now, this is what generally happens when I’m making pictures, especially still lifes – as I get more and more absorbed in what I’m photographing, I start to see my subject(s) in a different way. I started out photographing plates, but eventually I was photographing the patterns on them.

I haven’t submitted these to iStock yet, but I feel hopeful that some may be accepted because they have a lot of negative space, so they would be appropriate for ads, and because they are different than just photographs of china.

Here are a few of the images I made today, that I’m super pleased with:

Nippon plate

Nippon plate

Nippon plate

Orchid Heaven

We went to the Cape & Islands Orchid Show today, and while it was pricy (Ulysse got a hotdog and chips for $6!!!) and crowded, the show itself was beautiful. There is nothing like a room full of blooming flowers in January!

I had been once before, but I hadn’t had my camera long, so I knew one setting – which I had read in a magazine – and that’s what I did for every shot. This time I brought three lenses and some close up filters and went to town!

These were taken using a flash which, of course, captures a lot of detail and the flowers’ “true” colors:

OrchidOrchidsOrchidsOrchidsOrchidsOrchidsOrchidOrchidsOrchidsOrchid

This is my favorite one, compositionally:

Orchids

These I took without a flash using my 50mm Minolta lens, and I think, of all the pictures I took, that they came out the most interesting:

OrchidOrchidOrchidsOrchidsOrchidOrchidsOrchidOrchidsOrchid

And, of the ones I took without a flash, this one is my personal favorite:

Orchid

Back to the Woods

I finally got to go walk in some woods this past weekend, and got two good workouts, since photographing ‘shrooms involves endless squats, LOL.

Copicut Woods:

Coral mushroomTooth fungiMushroom

Coral mushroomChipmunk

Lloyd Center:

MushroomsOrange mushroomsWildflowers

I believe this is a wood frog. He was super-tiny, and could jump incredibly far!

Wood frog

I’ve seen white Indian pipes, and (rarely) pink ones, but NEVER red!!!

Indian Pipes

Major mushrooms

We went to Gidley Woods on Saturday, and found a ton o’ ‘shrooms, along with some of the biggest Indian pipes I think I’ve ever seen…

Purple mushroomsMushroomMushroom

MushroomMushroomMushroom

MushroomMushroomsIndian pipes

Indian pipes

There is also hibiscus that grows wild around the pond, and it was in bloom, as well as some crimson red cardinal flowers. My camera doesn’t handle really saturated reds (or yellows) well, but I’m pleased with how the first shot came out.

Cardinal flowerHibiscusHibiscus

Blue algae

So, I went to the park this morning, thinking I’d get an hour in before I had to get ready and leave for work, and the water was entirely fenced off. I’d been there just this past weekend and noticed a smell – not an unpleasant one – sort of like when you shuck corn – but I hadn’t seen anything unusual. Now, the water has a polluted look from this unnaturally blue algae growing in it, and the corn smell has morphed into something far less pleasant. I am incredibly disappointed, because this is the time of year when the park is just loaded with butterflies, dragonflies, turtles, birds, herons – everything – and they’re all on or around the water.

So… these may be my last photos for a while. :(

DragonflyMonarchBee

BirdsTree swallowsTree swallows

TurtleWater lilyDragonfly

DragonflyDragonflies